5 Simple Ways to Deal with Negative People


Everyone is entitled to their bad days, but what happens they have bad days every day? What happens when you constantly have to witness these bad days all the time? You're sucked into a whirlwind of negativity, and you might as well be walking around with a rain cloud hanging over your head, too. If you're constantly surrounded by negativity, then it's time to change that. Surrounding yourself with negativity isn't healthy for you or the other person. Not only are you perpetuating their cycle of negativity, but you're also subjecting yourself to negativity you don't need in your life.

Here are 5 simple ways to deal with negative people:

  1. Set a Limit Consider how much negativity you can deal with a daily basis, and then, set a firm limit and stick to it. If you can only listen to your coworker complain about her job for 10 minutes a day, then fine. Give her 10 minutes a day, and then, excuse yourself from the situation. If your girlfriend Debbie Downer whines about her dating life every time you see her, then consider seeing her less. Harsh? Maybe. Don't tolerate negativity, and you won't be surrounded by negativity.
  2. Think Happy Thoughts If the Negative Nelly happens to be your boss, then you might not be able to walk away while they're ranting (again) about so-and-so, and that project, and that deadline. Whenever your boss goes into full Negative Nelly mode, just think happy thoughts to yourself. Stay away from that whirlwind of negativity. Think happy thoughts, and focus on all that's good in your life.
  3. Introduce Negative Nelly to New People, Places, or Things Maybe Negative Nelly is negative because she (or he) is in a slump. Let's face it. Routines can be nice, but routines can also destroy souls. Try introducing Negative Nelly to new things. Invite her to join your yoga class. Or, ask her to check out a new restaurant with you. Getting Negative Nelly out of her rut might help lift her spirits and help her shake off all that negativity.
  4. Tune it Out You can only listen to so much of someone else's negativity before it starts to sound like a self-help audiobook gone wrong in your head. Train yourself to tune it out. If you can't avoid them or change the conversation, then you have to learn to tune out all the negativity. Let them rant, but don't let their rants affect you.
  5. Ask if They Need Help Most of the time, people just want to rant. Ranting becomes a habit, and habits are hard to break. However, if you suspect that there's an underlying issue beneath all this ranting, then don't be afraid to speak up. It's as simple as saying, "Hey, I noticed that you've been complaining a lot. Are you okay? Is there something I can do to help?" A kind gesture goes a long way. It could be that person doesn't realize there's a deeper issue at play here, or it could be that person is simply ranting.

Avoid Negative People

More often than not, people aren't being negative out of malice. Their negativity stems out of pessimism or depression. Sometimes, they're not fully aware of their behavior -- in which case, you're welcome to give them a gentle nudge and let them know that their negativity is wearing you down. Negativity is unavoidable, but you can limit your exposure to it, and more importantly, you can also control your own reaction to negativity.

How do you deal with negativity in your life?